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Edvard Munch painting with a text overlay - Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth, June 10 - October 15, 2023

Chosen Places

Edvard Munch, The Girls on the Bridge, 1902, oil on canvas. Private collection, © Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York 

Throughout his life, specific landscapes profoundly impacted Munch and his artistic production. These sites—Åsgårdstrand, Warnemünde, and Hvitsten—each had their own visual characteristics and inspired distinct narratives in Munch’s work. Åsgårdstrand, a fishing village about sixty miles south of Oslo, was an important touchstone for Munch. Starting in 1889, his family rented a house there in the summers, and the rocky, curving shoreline became a common theme for the artist. Another place where Munch spent an intense period from 1907 to 1908 was Warnemünde, on the northern coast of Germany, where he focused on outdoor bathing scenes. Here he sought water cures and rest before being hospitalized for alcoholism and a nervous breakdown. In 1910, Munch bought a summer house on the Oslofjord in Hvitsten, where he created bathing scenes and built outdoor studios for his monumental works. As Munch embraced the healing effects of the sun and the outdoors, his color palette brightened, and his contemporaries began to perceive the artist as happier, at one with nature.